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Supreme Court decision changes an aspect of DUI testing

The United States Supreme Court recently issued a ruling on cases that have to do with drunk driving. The cases challenged the legality of blood tests to check the blood alcohol concentration level of drivers who are accused of drunk driving. The cases noted that BAC tests are intrusive and are in violation of a person's right to not have to deal with unreasonable searches and seizures.

The justices ruled that there is a difference between blood tests and breath tests to determine BAC. The ruling stated that blood tests are intrusive, but breath tests aren't. The breath tests don't pierce the skin and they don't leave biological evidence behind that would be in the government's possession.

The ruling notates that law enforcement officers need to have a valid search warrant to obtain a blood sample to perform a BAC test. In the cases that were presented to the justices, the challengers noted that drunk driving stops are ordinary police functions that should be subjected to traditional rights to privacy. With that argument, they essentially said that these drunk driving stops wouldn't be allowed to have the lax privacy laws that are associated with certain extraordinary circumstances that allow for warrantless searches.

If you are being stopped for the suspicion of drunk driving, you should be aware of this ruling. It could make a difference in your defense if you were forced to give a blood sample without having a valid search warrant. No matter what the circumstances of your case, you should explore the options you have for presenting a defense.

Source: ABC News, "High Court Limits Drunk Driving Test Laws," Sam Hananel, Associated

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